I rebel against restriction. Tell me I can’t have it and I have an F you reaction because I want it. It’s why traditional diets, point plans, numbers, scores etc. just don’t work for me. I’m thinking they don’t work for most people if you look at the diet industry in our country- but that’s another blog. It’s actually why the lap band didn’t work for me- it restricted my intake and created a lot of anger. I removed the liquid from it to release that anger.
Instead of restriction, I’ve been practicing being conscious of what I’m eating. What I mean by this is actually choosing what I’m eating, figuring out why I want it, enjoying it with all my senses etc. A few days ago, I bought some cookies and I noticed when I ate them, my brain became really foggy and I wasn’t able to focus. Now, I’ve read all about how this happens to people but I’m rarely conscious of it when eating sweets because I’m eating for reasons that don’t include energy and nutrition. I found myself frustrated by this physical response to the cookies. Darn it. I just wanted to enjoy those cookies! It was GREAT that I noticed it but annoying because I didn’t want to have a negative impact for this choice.
Fast forward to today. (Trust me. I’m pulling this together.) I still had cookies in the house. They were actually on the counter. Each time I walked into the kitchen I chose not to have them. What’s beautiful is I didn’t choose out of restriction “you shouldn’t have them” ” you don’t need them” etc. I didn’t choose out of a diet plan (look back at paragraph one for reference to my thoughts on this). Instead, I chose because I didn’t want the consequences of how they would impact my energy and my brain. I had a lot to do today and having those cookies would have had a negative impact. There was a sense of pride in that for me today each time I chose to honor myself. It was not the righteousness that I used to feel when I restricted myself because “I wasn’t supposed to have something” or the pride I used to have in saying no because I knew it would take me over the calories I “should” eat that day. It was like the parental pride of watching a child make a decision that was healthy. I found myself saying “Hey, that was a great choice and look- no foggy brain for you!”. I think the parent child analogy is spot on because I’m learning to mother myself and take care of myself and this is all part of it.
A thought just came to me. You might be asking yourself “Why didn’t she just put the cookies away?”. The reason is that I really didn’t want them so they weren’t calling to me like a siren. I didn’t feel like I had to hide them from myself as someone who couldn’t be trusted. I just realized that having them out and choosing to honor my desire for energy actually just built more trust in myself to make choices that honor me. That’s pretty darn cool if I do say so myself.